Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Where Do All The Tyres Go?

We love teaching our workshops at Bob Jane stores – the Franchisees and their teams are always friendly and helpful. While waiting for our workshops to start, we couldn’t help but wonder, “Where do all the tyres that they take off cars go?”

Do they go to landfill or is there a tyre heaven somewhere that people can go to for materials to make endless tyre swings and front yard swans?
We found out that Bob Jane recycle over 85 000 tyres a year – which means they don’t go to landfill!

The company they use are Tyrecycle, and we had the opportunity to talk to General Manager Dean Beckman about what happens to all of those old tyres.

Thanks for talking to us Dean. What is the environmental impact of not recycling tyres? Currently, thousands of tonnes of scrap tyres per year are illegally dumped, usually in our precious bushland and waterways. These illegally dumped tyres cost millions of dollars a year to remove and produce severe health hazards and environmental damage.
Even the smallest number of dumped tyres can create a dangerous breeding ground for mosquitoes that transport disease, such as Denge Fever and the Ross River Virus. 

Tyres are also combustible. Once ignited, they are difficult to extinguish - producing chemical toxins that affects humans, flora, fauna, waterways and the atmosphere.  

Even tyres disposed of legally in landfill results in the failure to take advantage of a valuable resource. However, Tyrecycle works closely with government and industry to expand and develop the applications for recycled tyres.

What is the recycling process that you use and what are some of the products made from recycled tyres?

The recycling process follows 6 steps:

1. Collection and transportation

2. Sorting

3. Shredding

The tyres are shredded in preparation for further processing. 4. Steel removal

The steel at the centre of each tyre is recovered for re-use. In fact, Sims recycles over 2,500 metric tonnes of steel as a result of this process.

5. Grinding into finished product

Depending on the fineness required, the granules are ground by large rollers and pushed through sieves. Rubber products produced are: buffings and shred (used in matting, sport surfaces, turf and playgrounds); granules and chips (used in athletic tracks, playgrounds, horse arenas and asphalt); crumbs and powders (used in new tyres, brake pads, road sealing, adhesives and paints); and large shred tyre chips (used in civil engineering and fuel derivatives).

6. Testing & distribution

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